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Marx for TodayINSURGENT NOTES – ISSUE 6 (March 2013)

Insurgent Notes: http://insurgentnotes.com

 

Editorial: In This Issue

Loren Goldner: Fictitious Capital and Contracted Social Reproduction Today: China and Permanent Revolution

John Garvey: The New Worker Organizing

Matthew Quest: CLR James and Maoism

John Garvey: Trotsky Reconsidered: Claude Lefort’s Perspective

Michael Rectenwald: A Post-Mortem on Post-Modernism

 

Book Reviews:

Loren Goldner.  Review/Essay:  Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers, and the Question of Unions in Contemporary Capitalism

Freddy Fitzsimmons. Review/Essay: The Condition of the Working Classes in England

Maury Moriarity  on  Michael Schmidt/Lucien van der Walt

Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism.

AK Press 2009. Vol. 1.

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-issue-of-insurgent-notes

Posthuman

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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Andrew Kliman

RADICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE PRESENT CRISIS

November 14th, 2012

8-10:30PM

WollmanHall
Eugene Lang Building, 6th floor
65 W 11th St
New York, NY10011

WITH: LOREN GOLDNER | DAVID HARVEY | ANDREW KLIMAN | PAUL MATTICK

The Present Crisis

The present moment is arguably one of unprecedented confusion on the Left.  The emergence of many new theoretical perspectives on Marxism, anarchism, and the left generally seem rather than signs of a newfound vitality, the intellectual reflux of its final disintegration in history.  As for the politics that still bothers to describe itself as leftist today, it seems no great merit that it is largely disconnected from the academic left’s disputations over everything from imperialism to ecology. Perhaps nowhere are these symptoms more pronounced than around the subject of the economy.

As Marxist economics has witnessed of late a flurry of recent works, many quite involved in their depth and complexity, recent activism around austerity, joblessness, and non-transparency while quite creative in some respects seems hesitant to oppose with anything but nostalgia for the past the status quo mantra, “There is no Alternative.”  At a time when the United States has entered the most prolonged slump since the Great Depression, the European project founders on the shoals of debt and nationalism.  If the once triumphant neoliberal project of free markets for free people seems utterly exhausted, the “strange non-death of neo-liberalism,” as a recent book title has it, seems poised to carry on indefinitely.  The need for a Marxist politics adequate to the crisis is as great as such a politics is lacking.

And 2011 now seems to be fading into the past.  In Greece today as elsewhere in Europe existing Left parties remain largely passive in the face of the crisis, eschewing radical solutions (if they even imagine such solutions to exist).  In the United States, Occupy has vanished from the parks and streets, leaving only bitter grumbling where there once seemed to be creativity and open-ended potential. In Britain, the 2011 London Riots, rather than political protest, was trumpeted as the shafted generation’s response to the crisis, overshadowing the police brutality that actually occasioned it.  Finally, in the Arab world where, we are told the 2011 revolution is still afoot, it seems inconceivable that the revolution, even as it bears within it the hopes of millions, could alter the economic fate of any but a handful.

While joblessness haunts billions worldwide, politicization of the issue seems chiefly the prerogative of the right.  Meanwhile, the poor worldwide face relentless price rises in fuel and essential foodstuffs. The prospects for world revolution seem remote at best, even as bankers and fund managers seem to lament democracy’s failure in confronting the crisis. In this sense, it seems plausible to argue that there is no crisis at all, but simply the latest stage in an ongoing social regression. What does it mean to say that we face a crisis, after all, when there is no real prospect that anything particularly is likely to change, at least not for the better?

In this opaque historical moment, Platypus wants to raise some basic questions:

* Do we live in a crisis of capitalism today and, if so, of what sort — political? Economic? Social?

* Why do seemingly sophisticated leftist understandings of the world appear unable to assist in the task of changing it?

* Conversely, can the world be thought intelligible without our capacity to self-consciously transform it through practice?

* Can Marxism survive as an economics or social theory without politics?

* Is there capitalism after socialism?

From: Radical Interpretations of the Present Crisis: http://newyork.platypus1917.org/11-14-2012-radical-interpretations-of-the-present-crisis/

Join the Facebook event page.

Download an image file of the event flier.

Download the PDF version of the event flier.

Thanks to Ross Wolfe for alerting me to this important event: Glenn Rikowski

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David Harvey

Karl Marx

NEW YORK CITY ‘CAPITAL’ VOLUME II READING GROUP

A study group on vol. 2 of Capital will be meeting in Manhattan every other Thursday evening 7-10 PM, starting June 28.

Knowledge of vol. l is of course highly recommended, but “beginners” willing to do some background reading are welcome. 

The group is highly participatory, with all members expected to do 15-20 minute presentations on sections of the reading. We will cover about 80-100 pages every two weeks.

Meetings will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5409. 

The group will in all likelihood continue on to vol. 3 in the fall. 

If you are interested, contact me at lrgoldner@yahoo.com

 

(From Loren Goldner)

 

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‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

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It's Crisis Time!

INSURGENT NOTES – NUMBER 5

New York City Insurgent Notes No. 5, dealing mainly with the U.S. Occupy movement, is now up at:
http://insurgentnotes.com

January 2012

The Occupy Movement in the United States

Editorial

Globalization of Capital, Globalization of Struggle

 

OWS and the Working Class

Kadir Ateş

 

Reports From the Occupy Wall Street Events of Mid-November

R.S.

 

Reflections on the New School Occupation

Arya Zahedi

 

NYC Transit Workers’ Fare Strike 2012: Can Occupy Open Horizons for a Frustrated Labor Movement?

Johnny Locks

Oakland

 

Occupy Oakland: The Port Shutdown and Beyond—All Eyes on Longview (Guest Article)

Jack Gerson

Seattle

 

The Radicalization of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle (Guest Article)

Black Orchid Collective

Baltimore

 

Letter from Baltimore

Curtis P.

Atlanta

 

Occupy Atlanta: Privilege Politics or Popular Self-Management for the Post-Civil Rights City (Guest Article)

Theo Tegemea and Z.A. Mrefu

Los Angeles

 

Occupy LA: The Worst of the Best

Amiri Barksdale and Ryann Scypion

 

Other Articles

 

The Sky Is Always Darkest Just Before the Dawn: Class Struggle in the US from the 2008 Crash to the Eve of the Occupations Movement

Loren Goldner

 

Boom and Bust… Literally

R.S.

 

Letter From France: French Trotskyist Traveling-Salesman Besancenot Touts Moth-Eaten Electoral Wares in New York

Y.C.

 

Letter From Spain: The November 2011 General Elections in Spain: Indignation Trapped in the Ballot Box

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Palestine

INSURGENT NOTES NUMBER FOUR

Insurgent Notes No. 4 is now up at: http://insurgentnotes.com

Issue 4
August 2011
In This Issue
Focus on the Middle East
Anti-Imperialism and the Iranian Revolution

Arya Zahedi
Taksim Is Not Tahrir- Yet

Kadir Ateş
On Egypt

Mouvement Communiste
On Tunisia

Mouvement Communiste
The Arab Revolts and the Cage of Political Economy

Benoit Challand
And Also… The Murder of the Mon Valley

R. S.
Of Forest and Trees Part Two

S. Artesian
Report from Spain: On the May 15th Movement

C. V.
Theses for Discussion

Loren Goldner

Letters

More on Madison
Letter from Paris

 

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Capitalism in Crisis

LOREN GOLDNER VIDEO

Hi-

Just to let everyone know that a talk I gave in September on capitalist crisis and forms of working-class struggle is now up on the Break Their Haughty Power web site:

http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner

Comments / criticism welcome.

Loren

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Smoke Monster

THE MAKING OF THE SOUTH KOREAN WORKING CLASS

This is a radio interview with Loren Goldner speaking on The Making of the South Korean Working Class.

You can hear it at: http://www.againstthegrain.org/program/346/id/361358/tues-9-07-10-making-south-korean-working-class

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Karl Marx

NEW YORK STUDY GROUPS ON MARXISM AND REVOLUTIONS

From Loren Goldner

I am considering various topics for study groups for the coming year, based on what people are most interested in. The groups will start in mid-October and run to the end of June 2011. They will meet every other week in Manhattan, most probably on Thursday evenings (the time that seems most convenient for most people), and involve about 100 pages of reading per session. Participants should be committed to doing the reading and attending regularly.

The Capital group of fall 2009-June 2010 and the summer Grundrisse group have been (IMHO) quite successful, with high levels of participation and discussion by all involved. Participants in the 2010-2011 groups will be asked to make presentations on parts of the reading or (with option No. 3) reporting back to the group on independent reading. I have found this to be a very workable way to encourage maximum participation.

The main topics I’m considering are:
Marx’s Capital, 3 volumes.

Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value, plus readings from Smith, Ricardo and Hegel.

The history of revolutions from the English Revolution to the present (English, French, 1848, Paris Commune, Russian Revolutions (1905 and 1917), German, Spanish) and various working-class upsurges and insurrections since 1945. Given the near-infinite character of the topic and of the possible readings, the focus will depend in part on the interests of the group.

I will choose two of the above, based on the response.

For those of you not familiar with where I’m coming from, check out my web site

http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner

…and the new on-line journal of which I am a co-editor

http://insurgentnotes.com

If any of the proposed topics grab you, and you have the time and energy to participate, contact me asap at

lrgoldner@yahoo.com

Loren

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MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Charles Widmore

INSURGENT NOTES

The first issue of Insurgent Notes: Journal of Communist Theory and Practice, an on-line journal put out by the Insurgent Notes Collective is now up at: http://insurgentnotes.com

Comments are welcome through: editors@insurgentnotes.com or to me personally (lrgoldner@yahoo.com)

Loren Goldner

INSURGENT NOTES
Journal of Communist Theory and Practice
Vol. 1,  No. 1
Summer 2010

Editorial: Presenting Insurgent Notes

The Historical Moment That Produced Us: Revolution or Recomposition?/Loren Goldner

Bring In The Paper, Bring on the Torches/S. Artesian

Workers’ Progress? From Iron Mines to Iron Bars/John Garvey

A Chinese Alternative? Interpreting the Chinese New Left Politically/Lance Carter

Crisis in the U.S: Social and Economic Effects, Restructuring and Methods of Adapting/Henri Simon

A Report on Recent Struggles In Greece/the Greek BIDA group

California: After the March 4th Movement/John Garvey

Capitalism is a Waste of Time: Godwin, Malthus, and the Ideology of “No Alternative”/Jason Rhodes

Strike Wave in China/Lance Carter

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MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

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Karl Marx

NEW YORK AREA STUDY GROUP ON ‘CAPITAL’ VOLS. II AND III

Since early October 2009, Howie Seligman and Loren Goldner have been teaching a ‘Capital’ study group in the New York area. We will complete Vol.I next Wednesday, December 23rd.

We will be continuing with Vols. II and III from January through early June. We will be meeting every other Wednesday night from 7 to 10 PM, at a convenient location on W. 28th St. in Manhattan. We will probably start vol. II on either Jan. 6 or Jan. 13.

I have been handling the close reading of ‘Capital’ and Howie has been providing technical analysis of current developments. This arrangement will continue and will of course be as closely related as possible to the concepts introduced in vols. II and III. 

If you are interested in participating, contact me at: lrgoldner@yahoo.com

Please provide a short description of your background in Marx, your previous experience of political activity, and where you’re coming from politically.

Loren Goldner

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Loren GoldnerNEW TEXTS ON LOREN GOLDNER’S WEBSITE

http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/

Article on the origins of Turkish communism and of the reactionary
ideology of “anti-imperialism” in the 1917-1925 period (Nov 2009)

“Socialism in One Country” Before Stalin, and the Origins of
Reactionary “Anti-Imperialism”: The Case of Turkey, 1917-1925 (2009)

http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/turkey.html

Ssangyong Motor Strike in South Korea Ends in Defeat and Heavy
Repression (2009)

http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/ssangyong.html

General Perspectives on the Capitalist Development State and Class
Struggle in East Asia (2009)

http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/asiamarx.html

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

 

Capitalism in Crisis

Capitalism in Crisis

CAPITALIST CRISIS

 

 

FALL-SPRING STUDY GROUP ON CAPITALIST CRISIS

Following our (just concluded) summer class, Howie Seligman and I (Loren Goldman) will again be doing a study group in the New York City area on Marxian theory and the current crisis. If you are interested, read on.

All applicants welcome.

TENTATIVE PLAN

Loren Goldner and Howie Seligman will be organizing a study group, starting in October,  for New York City-area people on Marx’s Capital (and other writings), linking Marx’s critique of political economy to the current crisis of the world capitalist system.

The group will meet twice a month (day to be determined, based on people’s availability) , through May-June of next year, in a convenient Manhattan location (to be determined).

Space will determine the number of participants, but we aim for between 10 and 25 participants, depending on interest.

If you wish to participate, please contact Loren Goldner asap at: lrgoldner@yahoo.com

Participants should be committed to regular attendance and to keeping up with 50-100 pages of reading per meeting. Barring a need to change venues, the class will be free of charge, except for occasional contributions for photocopy expenses, refreshments, etc.

Readings will consist of selections from Marx’s Capital, and articles (to be decided in consultation with the group) on contemporary developments.

The events of the past two years in particular have re-awakened a serious interest in both Marx’s critique of political economy and in “current events” in the world economy. Goldner and Seligman will cooperate in putting the crisis into a Marxian theoretical perspective (Goldner), as well as providing insight into the more technical side of world market meltdown (CDO’s, hedge funds, Ponzi schemes, etc.) (Seligman). The approach will not be merely “economic” (the Marxian CRITIQUE of political economy is not another variant of “economics”) but will elucidate the impact of the crisis on ordinary working people, on developing actions against capitalist austerity in the US and around the world, and on the solution: abolition of the capitalist mode of production.

If successful, the study group will continue through May-June 2010.

In order to put together a viable group, we would like interested people to write something brief (200-300 words) about their background, the level of their knowledge of Marx and of the world economy,  where they are coming from politically, and anything else they might consider relevant.

We are oriented above all to educating present and future activists, and will give such people priority in participation. We also hope to have a predominance of young people who are new, or relatively new, to Capital and Marxist theory generally, but that will of course be determined by the response.

Loren Goldner is a long-term independent writer and political activist. His work is available on the Break Their Haughty Power web site at: http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner   He has spent much of the past four years in South Korea, involved in the workers’ movement there.

Howie Seligman recently taught a course on Taxation and Finance at the NEW SPACE in New York City. Here is the course description and a biography.

Taxation and Finance: Howard F. Seligman:

The course will begin with a brief tutorial on conventional accounting, bookkeeping and financial theory.  This will involve some hands on practical training, although the main emphasis will be on the history of the evolution of the theory from its original conception to the current methodologies. This will be followed by an examination of basic economics (price theory) and its use and abuse of (accounting/ finance) statistics. Again, the history of the theory from its roots in philosophy and the social sciences to its current state of being applied mathematical models will be scrutinized. We will then survey the U.S. Income Tax System beginning with its history and moving on to its current state (of change) today. The focus will be on the behavioral implications of changes in the tax code and alternate systems being used in other countries (and being proposed by Congress today.)

Applying the building blocks of finance and taxation, we will then look at the American financial markets and the culture of the corporation.  Particular attention will be paid to ‘Wall Street’ and the ‘entertainment industry’ due to their growing influence in our everyday lives via the ‘information society.’

Emphasis will be placed on economic and non-economic forces that drive the markets and facilitate manipulation by the use of abstract numerical concepts. Finally, the natural symbiosis of private industry and governments will be the subject of specific anecdotes and case studies.

No requirements other than potential enthusiasm/interest.
 
Howard F. Seligman has been a self employed financial and tax consultant since 1984. Howard’s practice specializes in the arts and entertainment fields, and he serves as the treasurer to more than fifteen arts and cultural organizations. Howard has taught accounting and finance at The Pratt Institute. His hobbies include playing Howie Solo, a singer and stand up comedian who can host your local fundraising event. He is currently researching a book on the history of the Jewish gangster in America.

You can also see Howie in action at: http://www.blip.tv

search HOWIE SOLO

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